While people are whispering trying to decipher who this supposedly NFL player is who is debating coming out and openly speaking about his sexuality. One NFL player who has been a supporter of equal rights for some time now is Super Bowl Champion Brendon Ayanbadejo.
Today he plans on taking another major step in the direction to having American equalized, by participating in a rally in California as they plan to hear challenges to California’s Prop 8, which bans gay marriage. Baltimore Ravens Ayanbadejo, spoke with USAToday about his support of same-sex marriage.
Question: You’ve been quoted as saying you believe the NFL will have its first openly gay player within a year, but that’s a mistake?
Answer: I was misquoted. Everyone says that I said a specific date, but I never mentioned a date. I just said that it will happen soon, and we’re definitely ready for it.
Q: How about the chances of it happening in baseball?
A: Honestly, I think it will happen in baseball sooner than in football or basketball. The reason I say that is because I think there is less of a connection to religion in baseball. The religious roots are a lot deeper in basketball and football. With that being said, I think baseball players are more open minded.
Q: How does the notion of the NFL being ready for an openly gay player square with organizations that ask potential draftees if they ‘like girls?’
A: Yeah, that was pretty outrageous and outlandish that they did that. Obviously, that’s something you could never do in corporate America. But also at the same time, in the majority of states, you can still be fired for being LGBT. I think more than anything, when these types of things happen — when corporations “misbehave” — it leads to faster change. Look at all the pushback the NFL got and how big the news was when it happened. Now they had to send memos to teams that you can’t do this and there’s certain behaviors you can’t act in.
Q: But in September, you said you still hear homophobic slurs in locker rooms …
A: I think that is still the gorilla in the room. I think that’s the hardest thing. Even though mentalities are changing, how is your language changing? How are your actions changing? Because when you’re still using those homophobic slurs, even if you don’t mean them like (49ers’ Chris) Culliver, he was using those words and it really hurt people.
What Ayanbadejo is doing is commendable. He receives his fair share of criticism for remaining so vocal about his personal stance regarding same sex marriage. Although people will speculate his own sexual preference because he decided to take a stance, there is something encouraging about a player speaking out against what he perceives as wrong, willing to take the bulk of the criticism in order to change a prescription.
Hopefully this will encourage players to come out if they feel comfortable. I ensure you that whatever a player’s sexual preference is, it won’t impact your fantasy numbers.
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